Sex Abuse Was 'Price' of Olympic Gold: McKayla Maroney

Former USA gymnast says she was abused by team doctor at 13
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2017 9:05 AM CDT
Sex Abuse Was 'Price' of Olympic Gold: McKayla Maroney
McKayla Maroney is seen at the US women's national gymnastics championships in Hartford, Conn. in 2013.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The #MeToo spotlight has moved beyond Hollywood to focus on sexual abuse at large. Case in point: In a Twitter statement including the hashtag, Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney says she endured years of sexual abuse at the hands of USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, per ESPN. The former gymnast says the abuse, which Nassar allegedly described as "medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years," began at a national team training camp at age 13. She was then only a girl with a dream to go to the Olympics. But though her dream would be realized, it came at "a price," the 21-year-old says. "The things that I had to endure to get there were unnecessary and disgusting."

Maroney describes one alleged assault in which Nassar gave her a sleeping pill during a flight to Tokyo for the 2011 World Championships. Maroney, then 15, says she awoke to find herself "all alone with him in his hotel room getting a 'treatment'" and "I thought I was going to die." Maroney says she was also abused at the London Olympics, where she was awarded gold and silver medals. "It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was 'treated,'" she adds, noting the abuse only ended when she left the sport. She last competed in 2013 but retired in 2016, per the Washington Post. Maroney is one of at least 140 females to accuse Nassar of abuse, reports USA Today. He faces 33 charges of criminal sexual conduct in Michigan and is awaiting sentencing for possession of child pornography. (Read more sexual assault stories.)

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